Daily News Digest – November 17, 2021

Daily News Digest – November 17, 2021

Presented by the

Alabama Municipal Electric Authority

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, November 17.


1. Alabama wins ARPA tax cut ruling

  • A federal judge has blocked the U.S. Treasury from enforcing a provision of the American Rescue Plan Act that prohibited states from using the pandemic relief funds to offset new tax cuts.
  • U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler ruled that Congress exceeded its power in putting the so-called tax mandate on states. He entered a final judgement in favor of 13 states that had filed a lawsuit and instructed the Treasury Department not to enforce the provision. The judge left the rest of the law in place.
  • The American Rescue Plan steered $195 billion in flexible relief funds to states but specified that states could not use it as a means to cut taxes by using the federal relief dollars to offset the revenue reduction.
  • The judge described the tax-cut restrictions as “a federal invasion of State sovereignty” that was “unconstitutionally ambiguous” — leaving states guessing as to whether their tax cuts would trigger a repayment of federal funds.
  • Full story HERE.



2. State: Hubbard’s words show apology was insincere

  • Convicted former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard told people he was innocent and “held my nose” as he signed a letter apologizing for his crimes, according to state prosecutors who used Hubbard’s own phone calls and emails from prison to cast doubt on his claims of remorse as he seeks early release.
  • The attorney general’s office combed through emails and 600 of Hubbard’s phone calls from prison and cited some of the conversations as they oppose his request for early release from prison. State attorneys said the communications show he was “not truthful” when he signed a letter apologizing for his 2016 conviction for violating state ethics law, including using his public office for personal financial gain.
  • Hubbard submitted the letter in September along with a request for early release from prison. In the letter Hubbard said, “I recognize and admit my errors.” Hubbard wrote that his conviction embarrassed the state and his family and “for this, I am severely sorry and respectfully ask forgiveness from everyone affected.”
  • According to the Monday court filing, Hubbard told a friend before submitting the apology letter that, “I promise you I did nothing wrong.” On the day he signed the apology letter to the court, Hubbard told his wife that part of the letter he liked was removed, but he was “looking at the ultimate goal” and “held (his) nose and signed it.”
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.



A message from the

Alabama Municipal Electric Authority

  • One million Alabamians depend on reliable, affordable, innovative public power.
  • Public utilities employ 93,000 people in local jobs across the United States. Revenues from public power utilities go back into the community.
  • 2,000 communities large and small across the U.S. trust public power.
  • To learn more about AMEA and public power, visit www.AMEA.com.





3. 6th Circuit will hear vaccine mandate case

  • Challenges to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers will be consolidated in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, a panel dominated by judges appointed by Republicans.
  • The Cincinnati-based court was selected Tuesday in a random drawing using ping-pong balls, a process employed when challenges to certain federal agency actions are filed in multiple courts.
  • The selection could be good news for those challenging the administration’s vaccine requirement, which includes officials in 27 Republican-led states, employers and several conservative and business organizations. They argue the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not have the authority to impose the mandate.
  • The employer vaccine mandate calls for businesses with more than 100 workers to require employees to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or wear masks and be tested weekly for COVID-19. Exemptions are provided for religious reasons and for those who work at home or only outdoors.
  • Because it’s an unusual rule from the workplace safety agency, there is no consensus among lawyers on how the challenges will go. OSHA has issued just 10 emergency rules in the half century since it was formed. Of the six challenged in court, only one survived intact.
  • Read more HERE.



4. Defying inflation, Americans ramped up spending last month

  • Despite worsening inflation, American consumers appear no less willing to spend freely at retailers — an encouraging sign for the crucial holiday shopping season.
  • Buoyed by solid hiring, healthy pay gains and substantial savings stemming in part from government stimulus checks and other relief, Americans ramped up their spending at retail stores and online shops last month. Some of the increase reflected the impact of higher prices, and there were signs that Americans have started to seek out cheaper options.
  • Yet the October gain the government reported Tuesday was solid enough for most economists to anticipate holiday shopping jumping by a record amount this year.
  • The data also illustrates a key factor behind the supply chain backups that have left dozens of ships waiting to unload at U.S. ports: Americans are buying a tremendous amount of goods, from appliances to electronics to furniture. Retail and food service sales have surged 16.3% compared with a year ago. That is a record high excluding several months during the spring when federal stimulus checks caused sharp spikes in spending.
  • Full story HERE.


5. CFP standings: Alabama’s path

  • Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State held their places in the College Football Playoff ranking Tuesday, with Cincinnati still sitting at fifth.
  • There was no movement in the selection committee’s top seven after all those teams won last week. Michigan was still No. 6 and Michigan State seventh, heading into the Spartans’ big game Saturday at Ohio State.
  • Notre Dame moved up a spot to eighth. Oklahoma State (9-1) is now the highest-ranked Big 12 team at ninth after Oklahoma was handed its first loss last week.
  • Wake Forest (9-1) is No. 10, the highest-ranked team from the Atlantic Coast Conference with three rankings left until selection Sunday.
  • Can Alabama become the first team to reach the playoff with two losses?
  • There are two scenarios here: Alabama (9-1) loses a competitive game to Georgia in the SEC championship game. Or Alabama loses one of its two remaining regular-season games and beats Georgia in the SEC title game. Hard to imagine the Tide not getting in under the latter scenario. The former? Less likely, but never doubt the power Alabama has to sway the committee.
  • Read more and see the full rankings HERE.




A message from


  • Using bill tracking software shouldn’t be rocket science. Your time is valuable.
  • FastDemocracy provides the most accurate and up-to-date information so you’re always well-informed and on top of everything happening in Montgomery.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama wins tax cut ruling on American Rescue Plan


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State: Ex-speaker Hubbard’s words show apology was insincere


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 6th circuit will consider Biden vaccine mandate


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Defying inflation, Americans ramped up spending last month


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – CFP top 4: Georgia, Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Labor shortage hitting state agencies


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In teacher shortage, advocates stress better benefits


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Marshall sues to stop Biden healthcare worker vaccine mandate


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Lawsuits challenge new legislative, congressional lines


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden signs $1T infrastructure deal


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Roads, transit, internet: What’s in the infrastructure plan


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey taps Liz Filmore as chief of staff


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NFIB: Support small businesses this holiday season


AL.COM – Palmer roasted for ‘hypocrisy’ of securing Northern Beltline funding, voting against it


AL.COM – $57 million FedEx distribution center coming to Alabama, bringing 200 jobs


AL.COM – Alabama public schools shrunk by 6,000 students during pandemic


AL.COM – Alabama has more than 2 jobs for every 1 person without a job


AL.COM – Alabama school first in weeks to go remote due to COVID increases


Montgomery Advertiser – Two more lawsuits filed against Alabama’s proposed congressional, legislative maps


Montgomery Advertiser – New Montgomery community center under construction along East Boulevard


Montgomery Advertiser – Alabama Attorney General’s Office: Mike Hubbard emails, phone calls show lack of remorse


Decatur Daily – Construction on new Career Academies facility to begin soon


Decatur Daily – Anderson hired as mental health liaison for Decatur police


Decatur Daily – Limestone County applying for grant for water rescue kits


Times Daily – Bentley seeks D-3 state House seat


Times Daily – Ag authority board accepts ALDOT’s right of way offer


Times Daily – Keller rolls out policy for employee vaccinations


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama state superintendent supports literacy act delay, policy holds 3rd graders back who don’t read at grade level


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – St. Clair County voters split on taxes for education


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Police: Birmingham man arrested after high speed pursuit in stolen car


Tuscaloosa News – Alabama Attorney General’s Office: Mike Hubbard emails, phone calls show lack of remorse


Tuscaloosa News – Former University of Alabama engineering dean picked as Interim president at UAH


Tuscaloosa News – State-of-the-art Saban Center won’t include branch of Tuscaloosa Public Library


YellowHammer News – Brooks cosponsors series of pro-life bills, says ‘Socialist Democrats’ radical, anti-life position’ out of step with Americans


YellowHammer News – Optometrist Mark Shirey launches bid for Alabama House of Representatives District 100


YellowHammer News – Shelby announces $18.5M in grant awards for Tuscaloosa, Auburn infrastructure projects


Gadsden Times – Commissioners reveal Phase Two of mega-site prep plan, get donation from Norfolk Southern


Gadsden Times – Meeting Friday could be pivotal moment in rendering plant conflict


Gadsden Times – Hiring issues discussed by Gadsden’s Human Relations committee


Dothan Eagle – Pfizer asks US officials to OK promising COVID-19 pill


Dothan Eagle – ‘We don’t deserve this’: Inflation hits Turkish people hard


Dothan Eagle – Hate speech trial of likely French far-right candidate opens


Opelika-Auburn News – Forecasting fox predicts snowy winter ahead by using coat and tail


Opelika-Auburn News – Maryland mayor charged with posting revenge porn on Reddit


Opelika-Auburn News – Palestinian amputees take the plunge in Gaza City


WSFA Montgomery – Autauga County Commission tables vote on property tax increase


WSFA Montgomery – State superintendent says COVID-19 cases have dropped ‘dramatically’


WSFA Montgomery – Enterprise business wins national award from DOL


WAFF Huntsville – One year later: Mother of man killed in stand off with Huntsville police speaks on mental health


WAFF Huntsville – NCAC, multidisciplinary agencies sign updated Interagency Agreement


WAFF Huntsville – Madison Fire and Rescue mourns loss of beloved retired driver


WKRG Mobile – No verdict after daylong deliberations by Rittenhouse jury


WKRG Mobile – Suspect leads Mobile police on chase in stolen car


WKRG Mobile – Alabama prosecutors say former House speaker Mike Hubbard’s not sorry, and they have proof


WTVY Dothan – Daleville offering new robotics, STEM programs for kids


WTVY Dothan – City of Ozark is becoming the first in the Wiregrass to use a communication tool to reach their citizens


WTVY Dothan – Santa Claus has made an early stop in Ozark, dropping off the city’s newest gift


WASHINGTON POST – States circumvent federal guidelines to offer booster shots to all adults


WASHINGTON POST – Covid could be endemic illness by next year with more vaccine uptake, Fauci says


WASHINGTON POST – Trump’s legal strategy tested in fight with Congress over Jan. 6 records


NEW YORK TIMES – F.D.A. Plans to Authorize Pfizer Boosters for All Adults This Week


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: U.S. Plans to Spend Billions to Increase Vaccine Supplies


NEW YORK TIMES – Cold and Marooned in a Police State as Desperation Takes Hold


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Treasurys Edge Toward Stability After Inflation-Driven Selloff


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stock Futures Muted Amid Retail Earnings


WALL STREET JOURNAL – One of the World’s Strongest Stock Markets Is Starting to Fizzle



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